Feeds

ERG offers alternative to European mobile roaming price cap

Calls for wholesale regulation

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

European telecommunications regulators have written to the European Commission trying to block its planned legislation on mobile roaming charges, which have skyrocketed out of control in Europe.

The European Regulators Group (ERG), a body composed of the European Union's telecoms regulators, agree regulation is necessary but want to see it focused just on wholesale charges. In other words, if it can regulate what one operator charges another, then it just assumes that all or most of that benefit will be passed on to the customer. Some chance.

European cellcos are in a fight to raise, or in some cases sustain, ARPU - and given the amount of business travel that goes on around the 25 countries in the European Union, it relies on artificially, and sometimes disguised roaming charges. Sometimes roaming charges are higher than the actual call charges by an order of magnitude.

Also, larger cellcos use their wholesale rates to bully smaller operators and take away some of their call revenue.

The ERG says retail regulation often has unexpected consequences and is inconsistent with the general approach taken to regulation within the EU.

In other words it wants to stop one cellco bullying a smaller cellco, but doesn't care how much relief the eventual customer receives.

The ERG is asking for a brief moratorium, calling for wholesale regulation and a time period for it to work before imposing retail price restrictions.

Specifically, it wants a single European-wide price cap on wholesale roaming charges set at about €0.30 ($0.38), as opposed to the current average level of about €0.75 ($0.96) and to set up and maintain an up-to-date index of retail international roaming charges.

European regulators may be acting as a mediator in this dispute and probably have significant clout in the discussion. We would expect some behind the scenes discussion with the commission before a final change is worked out.

Copyright © 2006, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms firm here
Is goTenna tech a goer? Time to grill CEO, CTO
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.